The treatment of an infected tooth
Root canal treatment is usually recommended when the centre of the tooth becomes infected, either through decay or injury. This area runs right through the tooth to the root, carrying the nerve supply and nutrients. When it becomes infected, that infection can spread throughout the root canal system of the tooth, and can cause an abscess which is usually extremely painful.
If left untreated the infection can lead to damage around the bone of the tooth, and the tooth is likely to have to be removed.
Root canal treatment can be quite lengthy – because the area we are treating is so small, it takes a great deal of skill and patience. A temporary filling is placed with medication in the tooth to help destroy germs and prevent further infection whilst the body deals with the infection. This, combined with the need to let the infected tooth settle down before the treatment is completed, means you will require at least two appointments with us.
On your next visit we will examine the tooth to ensure that the infection has cleared properly, and will replace the temporary filling with a permanent one. Sometimes a filling will be all you will need, but often the root canal treatment weakens the tooth and it will need strengthening with a crown.